In Talk That Counts, distinguished sociolinguist Rinals Macaulay provides a new way of examining sociolinguistic variation. Linguists traditionally take a limited sample of linguistic data from a given population and look at phonological and morphological variables. Macaulay proposes a much different and highly quantitative approach to the study of variation, which correlates features of discourse with three social categories: social class, gender, and age. He uses as data a sample from 33 speakers of English in Glasgow, and his conclusions indicate that age accounts for the greatest number of differences, followed by gender, with social class accounting for the most variation within a group. Macaulay's work offers a new methodological paradigm to an audience of sociolinguists and others like sociologists concerned with discourse analysis.

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